VALLEY ON FIRE

Terror deaths: 2016 is already Jammu and Kashmir’s bloodiest year in half a decade

Quartz india
Quartz india

Early on Tuesday (Nov. 29), terrorists attacked an Indian Army camp in Nagrota, on the outskirts of Jammu, killing at least seven soldiers. The Nagrota cantonment houses the headquarters of the Indian Army’s XVI Corps, the country’s largest such corps.

The attack comes exactly two months after the Narendra Modi government launched so-called “surgical strikes” on terrorist launch pads in Pakistan. Coordinated in reaction to the terror attack on a military base in Jammu & Kashmir’s (J&K) Uri town, where 19 Indian soldiers died, the “surgical strikes” were staged with the express intention of deterring cross-border militant activity.

Nothing of the sort seems to have happened, though.

Instead, volatility along the Line of Control, the de facto border between India and Pakistan in J&K, seems to have risen, marked by increased cross-border shelling and more skirmishes, and even mutilation and beheading of Indian soldiers.

The year 2016 has already been J&K’s bloodiest in half a decade in terms of terror-related fatalities. As of Nov. 20, there have been 233 deaths due to such violence, according to the South Asia Terrorism Portal, which maintains a database on terror incidents.

Between January and November 2016, Indian security forces have killed 148 terrorists, the most since 2010. At the same time, however, 74 security personnel, too, have lost their lives, the highest such fatalities in a single year since 2009. And since the “surgical strikes” in late September, there have been 30 deaths in terror-related incidents.

That’s without counting the seven armymen killed in Nagrota today.

This post has been updated with the latest casualty figures.

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